Are marketers at risk of falling into the trap many skiers and surfers fall into? That trap being the one that usually manifests itself by a skier or surfer saying something like, “Yeah, I did buy a new (pair of skis or a new board). You can never have too many.” 

Can we, as marketers, ever have too much technology? Can we become so dependent on technology, and the promise that the newest bit of code or hardware will save a floundering, or just average, marketing strategy or campaign?

Don’t be silly. First off, you really can’t have too many pairs of skis or too many boards.

But with the crush of new digital marketing requirements — trying to leverage “event-triggered” marketing, building a unique and effective customer experiences — leads marketers into new product categories or into having to figure out how to utilize these new products in conjunction with existing marketing platforms.

And in many cases, there are as many as 30-plus vendors in a given product category and, oh the complexity, vendors develop products for multiple overlapping categories.

Facing this tangle of overlapping technologies, emerging tools or platforms from new vendors, or incumbents looking to maintain relevance, it’s not that marketers will invest in too much technology, it’s that they’re increasing their odds of investing in the wrong technology at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.

What could a digital marketer facing these issues need? Something like a guide to a given marketing-technology category would be good. We have those kinds of reports – they’re called Market Guides. We’ve got (for Gartner for Marketing Leaders clients) a curated collection of five covering hot topics for digital marketers — Digital Commerce, Marketing Data Providers,  Ad TechLoyalty Marketing Programs and Web Analytics for Marketing.

The intent with these documents is provide a solid, representative list of vendors in a given category, organized around the segmentation of capabilities and features developed by the Gartner For Marketing Leaders team. Combine our Market Guides with the Digital Marketing Transit Map and you’re going to have some great summer reading and an interactive tool for another level of insight into vendors and service providers.

Veteran or newbie digital marketers alike can utilize these documents. Check them out and let me know how we can make them better.